Animal Attendants and Trainers
Animal Attendants and Trainers train, feed, groom and care for animals.
teaching animals to obey verbal and non-verbal commands and addressing behavioural problems
training animals to accept riders and pull vehicles
training animals to perform in competitions
bathing, cutting, combing, blow-drying and styling pets' coats, clipping their nails and cleaning their ears
inspecting, preparing, cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining comfortable animal cages and enclosures
transporting food, filling water troughs and feeding animals according to their individual needs
maintaining animal health records, treating minor injuries and reporting serious conditions to Veterinarians
exercising and playing with animals, answering visitor questions, and transferring animals between enclosures by leading or carrying them
dusting and spraying insecticides on animals and immersing them in insecticide baths, to control insect pests
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 23,800 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 51% of people employed as Animal Attendants and Trainers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 47 hours per week in their main job. This is 3 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,287 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $959
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,401
Median hourly earnings are $34, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Animal Attendants and Trainers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Animal Attendants and Trainers||All Jobs Average|
Around 52% of Animal Attendants and Trainers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Animal Attendants and Trainers is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 68% of the workforce. This is 20 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Animal Attendants and Trainers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.6||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as an Animal Attendant or Trainer. Although some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in companion animal services.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Animal Care and Management VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Animal Attendants and Trainers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||2.5||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||22.0||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Animal Attendants and Trainers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Reading work related information.
Looking for ways to help people.
Talking to others.
34%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
34%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
34%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Teaching people how to do something.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
25%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Using maths to solve problems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
52%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
34%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
24%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
21%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
20%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
20%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
20%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
18%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
17%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
14%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Read and understand written information.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
36%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
See details that are far away.
Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.
30%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
67%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
51%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
50%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
50%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
49%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
49%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
48%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
48%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
46%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
44%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
44%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
43%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
42%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
38%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
38%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
37%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
37%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
36%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
31%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
88%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
85%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
84%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
84%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
83%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
83%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
82%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
81%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
81%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
81%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
80%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
78%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Work to strict deadlines.
72%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
66%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
Work with people in a group or team.
64%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-2021.00 - Nonfarm Animal Caretakers.